Posts Filed Under german wine
Doug Cook, founder of the amazing wine search engine AbleGrape, is smart guy. A really smart guy; as in, instantly-doubles-the-IQ-of-the-room-when-he-walks-in-no-matter-how-many-people-are-there smart. His intelligence level is matched only by his largesse, especially when it comes to sharing wines from his extensive and impressive cellar.
That generosity was on full display at the recent Pro Wine Writers Symposium in Napa, when Doug busted-out some vinous gems at one of the post-post-prandial (PPP?), informal gatherings (a.k.a., after-after-parties), the most brilliant and multi-faceted of which was a wine whose existence on Earth slightly predates my own, a 1971 J.J. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese from the Mosel.
The wine was, in a word, amazing: honey, flowers, orange rind, nuts, beeswax (yes, I actually know what that smells / tastes like, not because I’m a beekeeper – though I think beekeepers totally rock – but because I play didgeridoo, which uses beeswax as a mouthpiece); basically, a delicate and pure example of everything that Mosel Riesling stands for and to which the best examples should aspire. Alder Yarrow, who was with me at the PPP, summed up the sensory experience of that wine recently on Vinogrpahy.com so I won’t repeat it here. By the way, it was fun to watch a normally poised Alder about lose his sh*t over some of those wines.
Anyway, what I do want to talk about here is why the wine was so glorious – and what was in the bottle is only partly responsible for that…
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Wines of Germany will be launching their very own TasteLive.com events page, and to celebrate they will be kicking it off with a redux of the on-line live tasting that we’d originally scheduled for the end of October.
I’ll be your blogger co-host for the on-line tasting, which will take place at 8PM ET / 5PM PT on December 3rd. This event is gonna be good – both upstate New York’s House of Bacchus and Manhattan’s Roger Smith Hotel will be hosting tweet ups for the event, and the wines are all kick-ass Rieslings from four of Germany’s premier Riesling-producing regions.
These wines all do a great job of representing their place of origin and how the terroir of those areas impact the final flavors of the wine produced there (they’re probably the next best thing to being there yourself):
Selbach-Oster, Riesling, Kabinett, Mosel, 2007/2008
Leitz, Riesling, "Eins Zwei Dry," Rheingau, 2008
Dönnhoff, Riesling, Nahe, 2008
Darting, Riesling, Durkheimer Nonnengarten, Kabinett, Pfalz, 2008
Join me on Dec 3rd, get the word out, and don’t forget to RSVP at TasteLive.com.
Tonight marks the finale of the month-long salute to German wines taking place at TasteLive. October has more-or-less been “Riesling Month” for me (not that I don’t drink Riesling pretty much every month) in helping to get the word out about the events being hosted by TasteLive and Wines of Germany.
Tonight’s twitter tasting event, at 8PM ET, is the final October Wines of Germany tasting event and will feature a handful of bloggers tasting through selections of Schloss Reinhartshausen wines from the Rheingau (the region typically home to Germany’s most austere and powerful Rieslings). There will be one more public TTL event on Dec. 3rd that will feature a sample of Rieslings from various German producers – that’s one where you will be able to join in and taste; more to come on that from both me and the folks over at TasteLive. For tonight, you’ll be able to follow along with the tasting action at the TasteLive website, or by following the #TTL search term using your favorite twitter client.
Here’s a bit about tonight’s highlighted producer, as lifted from the TasteLive website:
Schloss Reinhartshausen (Reinhartshausen Castle) has been identified with production of rare and majestic German Rieslings since 1337. Schloss Reinhartshausen embraces 15 separate vineyard sites located in the vicinity of the townships of Erbach and Hattenheim. These include a significant portion of the legendary Grand Cru Erbacher Marcobrunn vineyard, as well as the neighboring Erbacher Schlossberg site in its 15-acre entirety.
More on the wines for tonight’s event are below. Interestingly, the TasteLive website lists a Trockenbeerenauslese among tonight’s selections, and I received an Auslese (more on those terms can be found here). Not sure which one is correct. I don’t have any experience with the wines of Schloss Reinhartshausen – the notes below are not my words but have been taken from the importer’s descriptions, so take those with a grain of salt. Having said that, the descriptions have certainly whet my appetite…
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At this point, most anyone who has listened to me speak (or read my blog posts) about Riesling for more than six seconds is (painfully) aware of my love-affair with the noble wine grape, I consider it probably the greatest white wine variety due to its uncanny ability to retain a signature while also elegantly translating a sense of place as purely as the best red wine grapes, blah blah blah…
Truth be told, even I’m getting sick of hearing about how great I think Riesling is.
Having said that… I cannot resist the temptation to relay some interesting facts about how Riesling is able to translate a sense of place so well.
You see, I’ve been sitting on a book (well, not literally sitting on it, just waiting to read it… ah, forget it…) that I received as a sample from the Wines of Germany folks during my trip to German wine country earlier this year. The book is a bit of a sleeper – it’s dry reading, oscillates wildly between wine-geek information on Riesling, producer profiles, and beginner’s guide takes on how to enjoy Riesling wine. It’s also translated a bit awkwardly from the German, which means the English version reads with an odd cadence and uses the word “indeed” multiple times in the same sentence – as in
“Indeed, what I am about to write in this sentence is indeed going to reinforce what was stated in the sentence prior to this one!”
No surprise then that this book isn’t exactly lighting up the Amazon.com sales rank charts (currently, it’s at number 2,832,386).
But, that doesn’t stop the book, titled simply Riesling, by Chrstina Fischer and Ingo Swoboda, from delivering a masterstroke of Riesling wine appreciation. At least, it did for me. (Indeed) Chapter three of Riesling is (indeed) so freakin’ awesome that I’m going to summarize a large section of it, because it provides what might be the most eloquent overview of the link between Riesling wine aromas and soil types that I’ve ever seen.
(Indeed) It’s like the f—king Rosetta Stone for translating Riesling soil types!
And that is enough to get any Riesling wine geek’s mouth watering (Indeed!)…
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